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10 Best Things to do in Sokcho, South Korea


Nestled in the northeastern coast of South Korea, Sokcho is a vibrant city known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse array of activities. From relaxing on the sandy shores of Sokcho Beach to experiencing the distinctive changing seasons, visitors will find no shortage of things to do in Sokcho.

Amid the backdrop of azure skies and inviting waters, Sokcho Beach stands out as a popular destination for those seeking an idyllic retreat. With its soft sands, picturesque ocean views, and various amenities, Sokcho Beach is a must-visit during your trip to South Korea‘s East Coast.

Best things to do in Sokcho

Beyond its scenic shoreline, Sokcho City boasts an intriguing mix of traditional and contemporary attractions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the region’s history by exploring ancient temples and vibrant markets, as well as enjoy the city’s modern offerings. This captivating blend of old and new makes Sokcho an unforgettable destination for any traveler. So, without furter ado, here are the 10 best things to do in Sokcho.

Best things to do in Sokcho

1. Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park is an iconic destination in Sokcho and the number one on my list of things to do in Sokcho. The national park features breathtaking landscapes, lush forests, and towering peaks. Don’t miss out on exploring ancient temples like Sinheungsa Temple, hiking to the incredible Ulsanbawi Rock and Daecheongbong Peak, and taking the cable car for an easier trip to beautiful views with little to no hiking.

I recommend spending a full day here, but avoid weekends because the traffic and crowds are terrible. One Saturday I stood still on the road to the park for 2 hours trying to get in at 8am, I ended up leaving the taxi and walking to the entrance instead.

Best time to visit: Spring (April-May) and Autumn (September-November).

2. Sokcho Beach

Sokcho Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, offering a picturesque coastline with white sands and crystal-clear waters. Water sports such as jet skiing and banana boat rides are available for thrill-seekers, while the promenade is perfect for leisurely walks and people-watching. The beach even provides an impressive view of Seoraksan Mountain in the distance.

3. Water Sports

For more aquatic fun things to do in Sokcho, Sokcho Beach has plenty of water sports activities you can choose from in the warmer months. These include jet skiing, kayaking, and banana boating. Even during my trip in autumn, there were several people jet skiing and banana boating!

To help plan your water sports adventure, here’s a summary of things they offer by the beach:

  • Jet Ski Rental: Speed through the waves on a fast and thrilling jet ski ride.
  • Kayaking: Paddle along the shoreline to appreciate the scenic beauty of Sokcho Beach.
  • Banana Boating: Enjoy a bumpy and playful ride on an inflatable banana boat, perfect for group fun.

When engaging in these outdoor activities, it is essential to respect the natural surroundings, abide by safety guidelines, and ensure the optimal enjoyment for all visitors to Sokcho.

4. Sokcho Eye

End your day of strolling along the beach with a visit to the Sokcho Eye ferris wheel, a captivating way to experience the city’s beauty from above. With its towering structure, the Ferris wheel provides breathtaking panoramic views of the East Sea, the cityscape, and the surrounding natural landscapes.

Opening hours and price: 10:00 to 20:00, adult pass is 12,000 KRW ($9).

5. Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market (Formerly Jungang Market) 

The Sokcho Tourist Fish Market is a must-visit destination and things to do in Sokcho, especially if you’re a foodie! The market features a large building with a basement and two floors above ground, as well as specialized alley stores. Inside the building, visitors can explore shops offering clothing, daily necessities, and other general products, as well as the Nonghyup Hanaro Mart and the Raw Fish Center, which provides fresh live fish and seafood at reasonable prices.

The alley market is divided into several specialized alleyways, each focusing on specific products such as vegetables and fruits, chili peppers, blood sausage, salted seafood, and chicken. The chicken alley is a favorite among tourists, featuring various establishments offering their own unique take on crunchy and spicy dakgangjeong (sweet crispy Korean fried chicken).

Opening hours: Daily from 8:00 to 22:00.

6. Yeonggeumjeong Pavilion

Capturing the essence of Sokcho’s natural beauty, the Yeonggeumjeong Pavilion is a serene spot that overlooks the East Sea. Photogenic scenery can be admired from the pavilion, such as the harmony of the rocky coastline against the idyllic waters. It’s an ideal place for enjoying a quiet moment, reading a book, or witnessing a beautiful sunrise.

Location: 495-1, Yeonggeumjeong-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do

7. Abai Village

Abai Village is a unique cultural destination within Sokcho, where visitors can experience the life of North Korean settlers who arrived during the Korean War. Take a stroll through its quaint streets filled with beautiful murals and find various stalls offering sundae, a type of Korean sausage delicacy, and tongdak, Korean-style roast chicken. I found the village to be a great place to see the contrast of old and new and really enjoyed walking around here!

8. Cheoksan Spa

Sokcho’s Cheoksan Spa is renowned for its healing hot springs, rich in minerals such as sulfur and silicic acid. Hailed as a cure for skin ailments and fatigue, the springs provide a relaxing retreat for the weary traveler.

  • Signature Facilities: Radiant-heat bathtubs and therapeutic mineral baths
  • Features: Traditional Korean sauna, outdoor pools, and relaxation areas

9. Fishing Excursions

Fishing is one of the most popular things to do in Sokcho, thanks to its natural coastal setting. Visitors can enjoy a day of fishing at the Sokcho Harbor or embark on chartered fishing boats for an exhilarating deep-sea experience.

Fishing TypesLocations
Shore FishingSokcho Harbor, Cheongchoho Lake
Deep-Sea FishingEast Sea, off Sokcho coast

Seasonal catches can vary, with squid and mackerel being popular targets during certain months.

Sokcho fishing

10. BTS Stop and Goblin K-Drama filming location in Gangneung

If you’re looking for more things to do in Sokcho area and you happen to be a BTS or K-drama fan and have some extra time, then head down to Gangeung! Here you’ll find the BTS Bus Stop from Spring Day, as well as the famous breakwater from the K-Drama Goblin.

BTS Bus Stop

Sokcho Cafes

It’s not a trip to Sokcho if you don’t visit at least 1 cafe with a view, and here are three of my favorites:

One Fine Day

One Fine Day is a cafe with a unique view of the Sokcho Eye and especially beautiful during sunset. I ordered an extremely Instagrammable drink and enjoyed the changing of the sky’s colours from the cafe.

Check out my TikTok video from my visit to this cafe here.

Cafe Woody

Just as the title insinuates, this cafe is a wooden camping-core oasis with AMAZING lattes and desserts. You absolutely must try their signature sesame latte.

One Day One Coffee

One the way to Seoroksan National Park I stumbled upon this beautiful cafe. The interior was warm and cosy and the ade tasted yummy!

Weather in Sokcho

Sokcho experiences a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons, making it a great destination to visit year-round. The city’s coastal location contributes to its moderate climate, with temperatures rarely becoming too extreme. If you can choose, then I suggest visiting during spring or autumn.

Seoroksan Sokcho

During the spring season (March to May), Sokcho’s weather is generally mild with comfortable temperatures averaging 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). This is an ideal time to visit the city, as you can enjoy outdoor activities and admire the beautiful cherry blossoms that cover the area.

The summertime (June to August) brings warmer temperatures, averaging between 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F). While it can be hot and humid, you can cool off by visiting Sokcho Beach and enjoy various water activities. However, be prepared for the possibility of occasional rain showers, as this season marks the beginning of the monsoon season.

SeasonAverage Temperatures
Spring10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F)
Summer20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F)
Fall10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F)
Winter-3°C to 2°C (27°F to 36°F)

Fall season (September to November) showcases picturesque foliage in different hues of red, orange, and yellow. During this time, temperatures can range from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), offering a cooler, more suitable climate for exploring the city’s beautiful landscapes.

Winter season (December to February) is the coldest time of the year in Sokcho, with temperatures dropping to as low as -3°C (27°F) and averaging around 2°C (36°F). This period sees minimal precipitation, as well as occasional light snowfall.

Abai Village 3

Don’t forget to take the appropriate clothing and gear depending on the season you visit Sokcho. While the city’s weather is mostly amicable, it’s always best to come prepared for any changes in temperature or precipitation.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my 10 favorite things to do in Sokcho!

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